Eddie Bauer hit the nail on the head with the Sun Valley Down Jacket. This stylish, water-resistant parka won't break the bank. It's insulated with 650 fill down and does a great job keeping us comfortable in the cold. When wearing it, we have no trouble being outside when temperatures started to drop. Though it's only water-resistant, we are impressed by how it handles wet weather. The jacket's above-average warmth and weather protection combine with durable construction and versatile style to provide a great value. That's why the Sun Valley wins our best buy on a budget award.
Eddie Bauer Women's Sun Valley Down Jacket Review
Cons: Runs small, short sleeves, no interior pocket
Manufacturer: Eddie Bauer
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Our Analysis and Test Results
During testing, the Sun Valley's 650 fill down kept us warm when temperatures stayed around freezing. Once temperatures started to drop below that, we noticed that our arms were cold in the sleeves. This tends to be a problem with a lot of jackets. If you live in a climate that gets very cold, check out our Best Buy on a Budget award winner, the Marmot Montreaux, which is insulated with plush 700 fill defender down.
This jacket's interior cuffs are made of soft fleece and do a great job of blocking out cold air and keeping us warm. The hood fits pretty snug, but there is just enough room for a beanie, but we like how it fits because it keeps our head warm on its own. The faux fur ruff around the hood adds bonus protection when the temperatures drop or are caught outside in the elements.
For a non-waterproof jacket, the Eddie Bauer does a great job of repelling water! The shell has a StormRepel® durable water-repellent (DWR) finish. When we test this jacket outside in rain and snow, we are impressed by how easily water beads up and rolls off. After an extended period in the elements, the jacket did start to saturate, but it took a lot of time and water for it to get there. If you live in a climate that is primarily wet during the winter months, check out our Top Pick for wet weather, the Patagonia Tres Down Parka. If you like the Sun Valley, and live in an environment that tends to get more snow than rain and want something warm and waterproof, our Editors' Choice Award Winner, the North Face OOuter Boroughs may be perfect for you.
The snug fitting hood works well in cold temperatures, wind, and stormy weather. The super cozy fleece cuffs are great, but when they get wet, it takes a while for them to dry.
This jacket is comfortable, but it does run small. If you like to layer up in the winter or want something that is not form-fitting, consider ordering a size up. The sleeves are a bit short as well. Even with the interior sleeve cuffs, the sleeves often left our wrists cold and exposed when we reached for anything.
Still, this jacket has a few standout comfort features like fleece-lined exterior pockets, cuffs, backing on the inside. Jackets with fleece-lined pockets keep us warmer in cold weather than jackets that don't.
There is also fleece on the inside of the collar, which is soft and feels nice against our chin when the jacket was zipped all the way up. Weighing in at 2.2 lbs, this jacket is lightweight.
We were turning heads left and right in the Sun Valley Down Jacket. Simple and sleek, you can wear this jacket running errands around town or out on a fancy occasion. This jacket's fabric has a subtle, iridescent sheen, due to a metallic cross-dyeing process, and we totally loved it. There are also eight color options to choose from. The exterior fabric is also great at repelling dirt and staying clean.
This jacket has a form-fitting look. There isn't a cinched waist, but we don't find it necessary, because of how well it fits. The hood has a faux fur ruff, and we like how it almost had a tint of silver in it. That complements the color options, as well, as the silver zippers on the exterior of the jacket.
The jacket's outer shell is mainly polyester, and it's more durable than we expected. During a couple of months that we tested this jacket, we didn't notice any of the exterior stitching coming undone. We didn't run into trouble with any of the zippers either. The North Face Outer Boroughs Parka has a more durable outer shell that is waterproof and windproof. If you are someone that likes to throw around their winter jacket this may be a better option.
There are four exterior pockets. The two hand pockets have super cozy fleece-lined pockets and zippers; then there's a zippered chest pocket and a sleeve pocket that is secured with a snap. We would like to see an interior media pocket in this jacket, but life's hard sometimes. We love the soft fleece collar, removable hood with a faux fur ruff, and fleece lining in the back of the jacket.
This jacket stole the show in terms of value and won our Best Buy on a Budget award! There are a lot of factors that go into deciding what makes a jacket worthy of a Best Buy Award. Some budget-friendly jackets have only one high-quality and budget-friendly feature, the Sun Valley has many. It is highly water-resistant, stylish, form-fitting, and is a great price. It's also a high-quality coat. Eddie Bauer did a great job manufacturing this jacket.
We are impressed with the Eddie Bauer Sun Valley. Besides running a bit small, this jacket has many great qualities. It it's a great jacket for someone on a budget.
— Liz Williamson